LONDON -- FIA president Max Mosley has changed his tune on Formula One technology after fans called overwhelmingly for the sport to retain its cutting-edge status.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) head wrote to the 10 teams and other parties on Wednesday, asking them to consider the 'technology/cost issue' and what should be permitted in future.
Mosley has called for expensive and 'invisible' technology to be stripped out, with draft proposals for 2008 envisaging significant restrictions to cut costs.
However an FIA-backed survey, the results of which were released last week, found that fans wanted the sport to retain its high-tech image.
Eighty percent agreed that advanced technology set Formula One apart from other motor sports while 64 said they looked forward to technical innovations each season.
"We said we would listen to the fans and we have had to recognize the importance of technology to the viewing public," said an FIA spokesman.
Mosley said that the FIA's preliminary view was that "technology which helps the driver to control the car ... has no place in Formula One, which should remain a supreme test of drivers skill.
"On the other hand, technologies which improve car performance by, for example, saving energy or reducing mechanical losses should be encouraged.
"These do not devalue a racing driver's skills and their development can benefit the ordinary motorist."
The letter to teams referred to 'hybrid' systems, where the energy used by a car in braking for a corner is stored and then released to allow a burst of extra acceleration on the next straight.
"Such systems will eventually be on all road cars ... deployment in Formula One would greatly accelerate the rate of development of such devices as well as promoting public acceptance and consumer demand," it said.
Mosley said there was a strong case "for putting the emphasis on useful technology as a means of gaining performance.
"If there is some support for such ideas, we should like to discuss possible action for 2008 as a matter of urgency," he wrote.
"In the longer term we would propose setting up a small committee from the major manufacturers and perhaps some academics to advise the FIA on possible car and aerospace technologies for use in Formula One," said Mosley.
"We would then start to think about regulations five or even 10 years ahead of their introduction."
The FIA president said Formula One needed at least 20, and preferably 24, cars on the starting grid.
"This means that permitted technologies must either be relatively inexpensive to develop or of a kind which bring paying technology partners into Formula One," he added.